Make Use Of Your Student's Sense Of Humor
You can make use of the student's sense of humor to spur their interest and advancement at the piano. Once a boisterous boy made up comic names for the notes C, D, and E. He called them WALLACE, PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY TIME, and MISTER THREE-A-RINO. You can see that he was in a good mood, for he trusted enough to give a comic answer and risk the teacher’s scorn. Except that I don’t do scorn.
Always Start With Piano Games
I decided on a note naming game. I play a key and he has to give me descriptive information about it (white, black, group of two, group of three, location, name, etc.) Secretly, I'm forcing him to come up with a verbal explanation. He has to mentally visualize the location on the keyboard. Usually I become Professor Dumbrowsky (obvious apologies to the Dumbrowsky’s of Portland) and start a game-show atmosphere. I began to probe his knowledge of chords. His interest remained high, and we continued to study chords, listening to them, finding them, and playing with them.
Note Naming Game
Finally we came back to the names of notes, which he now knew much better. This was because our chord games had helped him identify the roots of those chords (the root is the key furthest to the left.) Then as he named the notes, I contradicted and said, “No, Joe, that one is named Wallace.” The child of course was delighted that I adopted his names, but now insisted on the correct names.
Enter The Child's Space
The lesson? You’ll have a better piano lesson if you can find a way to enter the child’s mindset, and then work within it. Children run to the door for my lessons because they are certain that I am warm, friendly, and never pressure them very far beyond their comfort zone. The result of such treatment is a willing collaborator and partner in the search for fun at the piano.
POSTSCRIPT: A month later, this same kid will only read music, that is all he wants to do. He is patient as long as I give him something harder to read!
Piano Teaching Style
If It’s Fun For The Teacher, It’s Fun For The Kids
Piano Methods and Children’s Personalities
The Backwards Piano Method
Reverse Psychology and Children’s Piano
Help Your Child Enjoy The Piano
Ten Rules for A Pleasant Piano Teaching Atmosphere
If You’re Having Fun, You’re Not Learning
The Difference Between the Worst and Best Piano Teacher
A Piano Teacher’s Emotions
A Pleasant Piano Lesson Atmosphere
The Use of Humor in Piano Lessons
The Piano Whisperer
Fitting the Piano Method to the Child
Soft Piano vs. Hard Piano
Why I Teach Piano
Advice To A Young Piano Teacher
Teaching Children's Piano
Guilt Is The Wrong Way To Buy Attention
The Piano Teacher’s Tone of Voice
Knowing When To Back Off
Piano Candy: The Case For Bribery
Why Nagging Your Child To Practice Won’t Work
How To Make Your Kids Love The Piano
Teaching Kid’s Piano Is Like Herding Cats
Repeated Victory Will Make You Invincible
Ratio of Talk To Activity in Piano Lessons
On Which Side of the Piano Do You Teach?
Setting the Mood Of Children’s Piano Lessons
Why Kids Succeed At The Piano
Child Pianists Are Like Guide Dogs
The Purpose Of The First Five Piano Lessons
The Real Goal Of Children’s Piano Lessons
The Philosophy Of Piano For Kids
How Simple Should Piano Lessons Be?
Piano Toys You Should Bring To A Lesson
Fun Kid’s Piano
Joyful Piano Lessons
The Invisible Piano Method
A Patient Piano Teacher
Make Beginning Piano Simple
The Reverse Piano Method
Nurture Your Piano Students
Against Disciplinarian Piano Teachers